Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
Coming July 18, 2017
“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.” – Kirkus
When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.
After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink–and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.
Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas–until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.
A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out, in Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason?
Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
The propulsive second novel in a new contemporary trilogy about unforgettable love, scorching desire, and dangerous secrets.
Praise for J.D. Mason Books
“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.”
– Kirkus on Seducing Abby Rhodes
“A heart-pounding and terrifyingly awesome story!”
– RT Book Reviews Top Pick on The Real Mrs. Price
“Readers are taken on a phenomenal journey that elicits gasps when the bombshell hits. Mason pens another astounding work.”
-RT Book Reviews on Crazy, Sexy, Revenge
“Taut, suspenseful and unforgettable. Run, do not walk, and get this book!”
-Zane, New York Times bestselling author on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
“Mason’s characters create an addictive drama with universal themes of laying claim to family–and to the truth.”
-Publishers Weekly on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
“Effortlessly leaves no stone unturned in the lives of these tormented characters. Mason will take your breathe away.”
-Romantic Times Book Reviews on You Gotta Sin to Get Saved
“J.D. Mason has become a major name in African American fiction. Her stark portrayals of her characters and their innermost thoughts bring the readers right into the emotional center of the story. Those who enjoy Carl Weber and Eric Jerome Dickey will add Mason to their list of favorites.” –Booklist
J.D. Mason is the author of more than twenty novels including Seducing Abby Rhodes, The Real Mrs. Price, That Devil’s No Friend of Mine, You Gotta Sin to Get Saved, This Fire Down in My Soul, Don’t Want No Sugar, And On the Eighth Day She Rested, and One Day I Saw a Black King.
During her career J.D. has been nominated for The Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards in the African American Fiction and Best Contemporary Fiction categories. Her work has appeared on bestseller lists for Barnes and Noble, the Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com. In addition, she has also been featured in USAToday, Essence, Pride Magazine in the U.K., and Today’s Black Woman.
Q. What sparked your decision to become a writer?
A. An unhappy marriage and a long postponed decision to follow the dream to write a novel. The first time I thought it was really possible was when I read Terry McMillan’s “Disappearing Acts”. It was the first book I’d ever read that I, as a young, black woman could relate to and I marveled at the fact that, not only were our stories worth reading, but that they were worth telling. So, I decided to tell one of my own, and began my first novel called “And on the Eighth Day She Rested.”
Q. Is there a story or character idea out there written that you wish you could’ve written first?
A. Yeah, anything by Octavia Butler or L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress series. The Harry Potter series is at the top of my list, and maybe something exceptionally creative like The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathon by Zig Zag Claybourne, or commercial gems like Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan or Addicted by Zane. The thing is, had I written any of them, they wouldn’t be the books that they are, and so, it’s all kind of moot.
Q. How do you develop such unique characters?
A. I let them develop themselves. Initially, I might have a general idea of what kind of character I hope to create, but as most writers know, with time, especially when you commit to writing a series, the characters naturally evolve into who they are meant to be based on experiences that reveal themselves throughout the story, relationships and other underlying factors. Characters in books evolve like real people evolve, and if a writer is paying attention, that’s the way it’s supposed to happen. That’s the part I find most exciting, too. If my main characters haven’t changed by the end of the book, then I’ve probably missed the mark somewhere.
Q. What do you love most/hate about being a writer?
A. I love telling myself the story and watching it unfold as I type it, as if I don’t know how it’s going to end, because 99% of the time, I think I know, but I’m always surprised. I hate that I can’t write faster.
Q. If you could go back in time and talk to your younger, aspiring writer self, what advice would you give baby J.D.?
A. I’d tell her that she was much skinnier than she believed she was, and to embrace how cute she really was. And I’d tell her to be true to her writing self. I’d encourage her to believe in her abilities and to write the kinds of stories that resonated the most with her. I’d tell her to not limit herself to writing in a specific genre and to write what she loved, to slow down, and to trust that she was a much more talented than she gave herself credit for. I’d tell her to be confident and to walk with her head held high because no one else would be able to tell the stories that she told, the way that she told them.
J.D. Mason Website: booksbyjdmason.blogspot.com
Literary Agent – Sara Camilli at: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Martin’s Press, Publicity Department
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Email contact: email@example.com
The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason
“A heart-pounding and terrifyingly awesome story!” – RT Book Reviews Top Pick
Lucy Price is living the American dream. She has been married to her successful husband and businessman, Edward Price for a year and couldn’t be happier until she learns that Eddie is a dangerously ruthless man, heavily involved in illegal activities that threaten not only her marriage, but her life. Eddie abruptly disappears, but not before warning Lucy that if she wants to keep breathing she’d better keep her mouth shut. Six months later, word of her husband surfaces when she learns that he is presumed murdered in a small Texas town, apparently killed by his “wife”, Marlowe Price.
Marlowe is no stranger to trouble. An outcast in her own community for being one of those “hoodoo women,” who can curse you or cast you under her beguiling spell, Marlowe is shunned at every turn. Six months ago, a whirlwind romance in Mexico led Marlowe to marry the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. For Marlowe and Eddie, there is no such thing as trouble in paradise. But late one night, when Marlowe witnesses her husband putting the body of a dead man in the trunk of his car, the illusion comes crashing down around her and she knows she has to move fast before the devil comes calling once again.
Now, Lucy and Marlowe must come together to find out where and who Eddie really is, and help each other through the threat he poses. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned…except for two women scorned who are willing to put their pasts behind them and band together to take one bad man down…
The Real Mrs. Price: A thrilling novel of contemporary suspense
The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason
Drowning on Dry Land
And just like that, the fragile concept of what he believed was his reality snapped like a twig. His wife, Lucy, had destroyed him with three little words. “You killed Chuck.”
The dominoes were falling, one by one, creating a chain effect, and everything he’d held dear was crumbling around him. A nauseating knot twisted in his gut.
“Don’t look at me like that, Lucy.”
God! Why did she have to say it? Why did she have to look at him like that — like he was a stranger? Or evil? Like she was mortified by him. Disgusted. It pissed him off because she didn’t understand. Not everything. Lucy didn’t know what Ed had been going through, how he’d been suffering and had been derailed by the unexpected direction his life had taken because of Chuck.
“You killed him,” she said accusingly. “I know you did it, Ed. Don’t lie. Don’t try to deny it. You did it. Nothing you can say …”
She stopped. Stared. Her blue eyes widened, and her lower lip quivered. Lucy’s body quaked, and it was as if all of a sudden, she realized the magnitude of what it meant to confront him. Ed realized it, too.
Never hit a woman. Never, ever hit a woman. But he couldn’t help himself. This time, this one time, Ed’s emotions erupted like a volcano, and his fist seemed to be separate from his body as it landed hard against the side of her face. Impulse. He regretted it as soon as he’d done it, but the pressure had been building in him for days, even weeks, and Lucy had brought it to the surface with this accusation of hers.
“No!” he shouted, reaching for her as he watched her fall back onto the floor.
For some reason, Ed’s thoughts and his blame circled back to his friend. Chuck had started all of this, putting his gotdamn nose into Ed’s business. His noble ass had threatened to turn Ed in.
“It’s not too late, Ed,” Chuck had told him. “If we get on top of this thing now, you can turn it around. I can make this go away. Disappear.”
Ed had gotten selfish, sloppy, and cocky. Still, Ed had had this whole thing under control before Chuck’s meddlesome ass stepped in and fucked it all up.
Lucy lay flat on her back at his feet, moaning, rolling her head from side to side with blood oozing from one corner of her mouth and staining her teeth. His beautiful Lucy. What had he done? Ed dropped to his knees on the floor beside her, then crawled and hovered over her with tears flooding his eyes. He stretched out on top of her, lowered his body onto hers, sobbed like a helpless, remorseful child, and tenderly stroked her hair.
“I’m sor — sorry, baby. Lucy? I didn’t mean to.”
Ed had snapped, the threat looming over him like a storm cloud pressed down on him until he could hardly breathe. In the beginning, he’d been so careful, so diligent, but somewhere along the way, he’d gotten careless.
This was not right. Ed wasn’t right. Money had meant everything. The lure of it, the promise of it had made him do things that he’d have never dreamed of doing, jeopardizing his career, his marriage, freedom, and now his life and hers. He loved her so much. Even now, he loved her more than he ever dreamed that it was possible to love another human being.
“Baby? Sweetheart, can you hear me? Lucy?”
Her eyes fluttered desperately, and then she fixed her unsettled gaze on him, grimaced, and struggled to get free of him. His Lucy. His beautiful wife. Ed couldn’t believe what he’d done to her, but she shouldn’t have said anything. Even if she knew, she should’ve kept her mouth shut. Ed had crossed a dangerous line. Without realizing it, Lucy had crossed it, too. She thought that this was just about Chuck Harris, but he was just a small piece of a much bigger and more complicated puzzle.
“They’re calling Chuck’s death a homicide, Ed,” she’d blurted out as soon as he’d walked in the house a few weeks after they’d found the body.
She was so smart, too smart for her own good sometimes. He’d always loved that about her. He’d tease her that she had too much time on her hands and that she needed other hobbies besides him. In the year that the two of them had been married, she’d fixated on Ed, watching his every move, hanging on his every word. It was like living under a microscope, and whenever he mentioned it, she would get defensive.
“You knew that I was an overachiever when you married me, sweetie,” she’d reminded him once. “You’re my husband, Ed. I’m supposed to pay attention to you, just like I expect for you to pay attention to me.”
Chuck had been his friend and colleague, and ever since his body was discovered near the cabin he owned in Cripple Creek, she’d been obsessed with finding out what had happened to him. Ed had told her to back off and let the police handle finding Chuck’s killer, but Lucy wouldn’t let it go. Ed had to let it play out and pretended to be as concerned as she was.
“This is so terrible,” she’d say, watching the story unfold on the local evening news. “Who’d want to kill Chuck? Why?”
Ed would shake his head in dismay. “I have no idea, Lucy. He was a good man.”
“Get — off — me — Ed,” she said, spraying blood in his face. Tears ran down the sides of her face. “Get off!”
“Shhhh,” he said, his lips trembling as he stroked her hair. “You keep your voice down and I’ll get up. We can talk about this, Lucy. We have to talk about it.”
Lucy wouldn’t stop shaking. She wouldn’t stop crying.
“Shut up,” he said, his voice quaking.
She recoiled like she was afraid of him, and she had every reason to be, because Ed’s thoughts collided dangerously together in his head. He was afraid of himself and of what he was capable of. He was afraid for her.
It took several moments, but eventually, Lucy managed to calm down.
Ed carefully lifted his body off her and tried to help her up, but Lucy withdrew like he was infected, drew her knees to her chest, and scooted on her bottom across the floor away from him. She swiped her mouth with the back of her hand and whimpered at the sight of her own blood.
Ed felt helpless and sick to his stomach over what he’d done to her. “Lucy,” he said hoarsely, desperate to connect with her again on this one thing. He took a step toward her and squatted. “Baby, we can fix this,” he reasoned. The irony was that there was nothing repairable about any of this. “I know you’re scared, and I don’t blame you. I shouldn’t have hit you, but —” Ed reminded himself that he hadn’t meant to hurt Lucy. “It won’t happen again,” he promised. It felt as empty as it sounded. “There’s a lot that you don’t know or understand. I’ve been under a great deal of pressure lately, and —” He had to make her understand the gravity of this situation. “This doesn’t have to derail us, Lucy.”
How did she know about Chuck? If Ed was going to try to fix this with her, he needed answers. How could she possibly know?
“Who told you, baby?” he asked as carefully and as tenderly as he could. “How’d you know?”
She shook her head back and forth and pinned her back up against the wall as if she were trying to disappear inside it to get away from him. Lucy suddenly rolled over on all fours and started to crawl away from him. Ed caught her, grabbing her by the hem of her cardigan, but when she slipped out of it, he grabbed a handful of her hair.
Lucy cried out, and to shut her up, he wrapped his hand around her throat and squeezed. “Shut the fuck up,” he growled in her ear. “You need to calm the fuck down, Lucy. I’m not going to hurt you. Just calm down and tell me how you know.”
She clawed at his fingers around her throat and scratched at his hand grabbing her hair. Then it dawned on him that he was squeezing too tight.
“I’m sorry, Lucy,” he said, easing his grip around her neck. “You need to stop fighting me. If you’d stop fighting, I wouldn’t have to do this. Tell me how you know.” He carefully let her go. “It’s important, sweetheart.”
Lucy fell down to the floor, drawing her knees to her chest again and coughing and gasping for air. Suddenly, Ed heard a knock at the door, and his heart jumped into his chest.
“Shhhh, Lucy,” he said, desperately trying to quiet her. “I need you to be quiet,” he warned her. “I never meant to hurt you, and I don’t want to have to —”
The knock came again. Reluctantly, he left her sitting there and went to answer the door.
“Hi, Ed.” It was his neighbor Bruce from next door. It took all of his willpower to compose himself, but inside, Ed was screaming.
Lucy could be heard coughing at the door.
“Is everything all right? Barbara thought she heard something.”
Barbara was Bruce’s wife.
“Is that Lucy?”
Ed forced a smile. “Yeah, she choked on an almond. I did the Heimlich, and she’s all right, but I think we need to go to the emergency room just as a precaution. You know. Make sure everything’s where it should be.” Ed could only hope that the alarm in Bruce’s expression faded at Ed’s lame attempt at a joke.
“Sure,” he said, glancing over Ed’s shoulder. “Well, is there anything I can do to help?”
“No, thanks, Bruce. I think I can handle it, but I really should get her to the hospital,” Ed said, quickly shutting the door.
Ed hurried back into the room, but Lucy wasn’t there. Instinctively, he raced through the dining room, into the kitchen, and found her pulling open the back door.
“No … no … no, sweetheart,” he said, rushing over to her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and carrying her back to the living room.
Ed didn’t like the look on Bruce’s face, and he didn’t want to take any chances that Bruce might decide to play hero and call the police.
Lucy fell limp in his arms and started to cry. He gently sat her down on the sofa and knelt at her feet. Ed shook his head. Shit was about to hit the fan. Ed had no more time. Bruce looked too concerned to just let this pass.
“It’s a mess, Lucy,” Ed muttered. “You have no idea what you’ve done. I can’t stay,” he said tearfully. Ed’s life was now forfeit, and time was certainly not on his side. He had no choice but to go. “But I can’t just leave you,” he told her, putting his hand underneath her chin and turning her face to his. Lucy had to understand, fully, the gravity of her actions. She had to know just how serious this was, and he had to make it clear just how far she’d pushed him. “If I kill you, they’ll never stop looking for me,” he said unemotionally, speaking more to himself than to her. Ed was processing out loud, thinking of how such a scenario could play out and the consequences, unaware of the chilling effects his words were having on his wife. “They’ll know it was me. And they’ll pin Chuck’s murder on me, and they’ll never stop looking. There are worse things than going to prison, Lucy,” he murmured with hot and angry tears filling his eyes. “There might even be worse things than dying.” Ed swallowed. Hope began to wane in him, and adrenaline ran high. “It’s over, Lucy,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to hers. The bitterness of this moment rose to the back of his throat as bile. Nothing in his life would ever be the same. And as far as his marriage to her was concerned, it truly was over. “You can’t tell anybody, Lucy.” He held her face between his hands and stared desperately into her eyes. “I can leave, and you can get on with your life, but you can’t tell anybody about me — about Chuck.”
She blinked back tears. Lucy was so afraid, but she needed to be. That’s the only way this plan of his had any possibility of working. Fear was his greatest weapon against her, and it would save both their lives.
“Understand this, sweetheart, that if you ever tell anyone about Chuck and I find out, I will come for you, and I will snatch the life right out of you, baby, and I mean that. I mean it, Lucy.” Ed’s own tears streamed down his cheeks. “I fucking mean it.”
Could he do it? If he said it, then he’d have to mean it.
“Killing’s easier than you think, Lucy.” Ed said it. And yes. He did mean it. “My God, it’s so damn easy. And if it comes down to my life or yours,” he swallowed. “I’ll take yours.”
Ed quickly went upstairs and packed the things he knew he couldn’t easily replace. He was literally getting ready to run for his life because of her. A few minutes later, he came back downstairs and saw Lucy slumped on the sofa, staring straight ahead at nothing, numb and trembling. His beautiful Lucy was a shell of the woman he’d married. But she should’ve minded her own fucking business.
He had two choices. He could stay and be arrested, or he could get as far away from here and this life as he could, as quickly as he could, and hope that he would never be found. On his way out the back door, he stopped and looked back at her one last time. Ed thought that maybe he should tell her that he would always love her. But saying something like that would just be silly.
( Continued… )
Copyright © 2016 By J.D. Mason.. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, J.D. Mason. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.ting from the publisher.
Blink, Texas Novella Series by J.D. Mason
Farrah Hart has made her escape. Running from a violent ex, she finds her way home to Blink, TX. With nothing but the clothes on her back, Farrah hopes to lay low at her abandoned childhood home until she can get back on her feet. But when an eviction notice comes in the most dangerously handsome of packages, Farrah might just need someone to lean on after all…
Jackson Burris can’t believe Farrah is in his house. The last thing he ever expected to see was the gorgeous girl all the Texas boys-including him-crushed on years ago, standing in the doorway. But she needs a place to stay that isn’t a run-down house, and his place is much cozier, much hotter. But as the nights grow darker with passion, demons from both their pasts close in, and Farrah and Jackson have to give in to love, in order to not break apart.
Ellis Brewer is a free man and is, surprisingly, the darling in the international art world. After seven long years in prison, he found refuge in his paintings and in the old farm house his late grandfather left to him in his will. No longer the hot-headed trouble maker he’d once was, Ellis is a loner and prefers to keep it that way. But when an old friend calls in a favor and asks Ellis to agree to an interview with a beautiful freelance reporter, Ellis throws caution to the wind and finds a love he never felt he deserved.
Christina Cole prides herself on her insightful and thorough reporting skills. When she gets an opportunity to interview the recluse and rising star Ellis Brewer-devastatingly good-looking and charming down to every last one of his ex-con fingertips-she soon realizes that she’s getting way more than she bargained for. Cristina came to Blink, Texas with every intention of uncovering all of his demons, but it’s not long before Ellis turns the tables, and begins to unravel her deepest, darkest secrets, exposing the most vulnerable part of her heart and proving to him that she needs him, body and soul.
Omar Reid is about to make the biggest leap in his career. As the City Planner for the town of Blink, Texas, he is spearheading the building of a megastore in place of an old strip mall will have the cash flowing like water downhill. There’s just one problem-Lola Knight won’t have it. A fiery woman with big dreams, she’s worked hard to own her own business and pursue her dreams, and without her piece of the property, the megastore goes nowhere. As their heated arguments lead to steamy encounters, Omar and Lola both know that, despite being opposites, their attraction is off the charts. But some key players aren’t willing to to see the deal fall apart, and will stop at nothing to keep the wheels in motion, leaving Omar and Lola to fight for what’s right and fight for each other.
Novels in the Blink, Texas Novella Series by J.D. Mason
Meet the Author
J.D. MASON is the author of Seducing Abby Rhodes, The Real Mrs. Price; Crazy, Sexy, Revenge; Drop Dead, Gorgeous; Beautiful, Dirty, Rich; Somebody Pick Up My Pieces; Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It; That Devil’s No Friend Of Mine; You Gotta Sin To Get Saved; This Fire Down In My Soul; Don’t Want No Sugar; And On The Eighth Day She Rested;and One Day I Saw A Black King. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her two children.